Optimizing Supply Chains with Vehicle Routing: An Innovative Approach to Transport Management
Keith LaBotz - December 05, 2023
Holistic transport planning is essential for maximizing fleet profits, sustainability, and customer satisfaction. However, transportation’s inherent unpredictability often undermines the best-laid plans, and that's where a Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (VRS) solution can save the day.
An effective VRS solution is an integral part of a transport management system, automating delivery plans for a fleet for greater efficiency. The best solutions are more effective at optimizing planning and execution, and will dynamically adjust them as unexpected disruptions occur, ensuring original planning objectives are met. Now that we've covered the basics, let's look at the challenge facing transportation fleets.
Get to know flexis VRS Solution in our Guide to Vehicle Routing & Scheduling.
Attention: A New Challenge is Emerging for Transportation Fleets
Digitalization and the accelerating transition to a multipolar world promise more dynamic supply chains, making VRS solutions vital for transportation. Supply chain management and logistics industry analysts are calling attention to the need for greater operational agility. For example, the Gartner Top 10 Strategic Predictions for 2023 and Beyond emphasize agile business and technology strategies aligned with common objectives.
Choosing the Right VRS Vendor is Crucial
Transportation fleets need VRS capabilities, so choosing the right VRS vendor is crucial for future success. The 2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Vehicle Routing and Scheduling gives an overview of the market and "Supply chain technology leaders can use this research to understand the market and evaluate these solutions". flexis AG is proud to be recognized as a Representative Vendor for Vehicle Routing and Scheduling (VRS).
The Market Guide can help you survey the types of provider options in the market and understand how offerings are likely to evolve.
flexis’ VRS Increases Supply Chain Planning Flexibility
Comprehensive, modular software functionality increases flexibility and scope. flexis supports three customer segments: small fleet companies, enterprise customers, and large multinationals. The differences in operational requirements between these segments are vast, reflecting the scope and flexibility of flexis’ VRS functionality.
flexis’ VRS solution employs a composable design with customizable data-driven rules to give users a highly adaptable feature set. A fleet can tailor planning so vehicle loading, routing, and delivery sequences utilize resources most efficiently under all conditions.
flexis’ VRS Improves Strategic and Tactical Supply Chain Planning
flexis distinguishes itself as one of only five vendors that supports routing for all vehicle types and transport modes: conventional trucks, couriers, electric vehicles (EVs), autonomous vehicles, and robots. In addition to using this extensive coverage for optimizing daily delivery runs, flexis leverages this VRS functionality to improve supply chain planning and strategy.
- Company logistics and supply chain planning improve by integrating flexis’ VRS and supply chain optimization capabilities for SCM, S&OP, and APS. Supply chain optimization incorporates fleet constraints and costs, maximizing profitability, sustainability, and customer satisfaction.
- What-if analysis and scenario-based planning identify the best transportation strategies. For example, a transportation fleet can run simulations to reveal and compare the impact of adopting multi-modal transportation options, changing vehicle types, or outsourcing specific lanes to other carriers.
- flexis also offers network optimization, a powerful feature of advanced supply chain management (SCM) systems, to identify the optimal locations and local fleet mix for a transportation network.
flexis’ VRS Aligns with Trends on Sustainability
In line with the trend and need to sustainability, flexis' VRS solution adeptly manages a mixed fleet of combustion engines and EVs:
- Routing algorithms consider each vehicle’s battery consumption.
- Efficient utilization of the fleet reduces fuel consumption to lower emissions and costs.
- Routing calculates the carbon footprint of every vehicle while routing, achieving the optimal balance between profitability and emissions. flexis’ VRS also automates fleet emissions reporting.
flexis VRS Facilitates Digital Transformation
A digital supply chain makes it easier to align planning and execution across all business functions. That’s only possible with reliable transportation - delivering the right stuff to the right place at the right time. flexis VRS allows a fleet to meet delivery commitments even as conditions change, establishing a reliable foundation for digital transformation.
flexis VRS Excels in Last-Mile Logistics
The increasing significance of last-mile logistics, especially with the rise of e-commerce, is vital for engaging customers. Final delivery will make or break weeks of hard-won sales and careful planning, and flexis VRS excels in this area.
- All delivery planning and preparation aspects are automated in alignment with customer requirements on each order, from vehicle selection and loading to delivery sequences and routes.
- Fleet utilization is optimized to maximize overall customer satisfaction, profitability, and sustainability while reducing potential risks.
- flexis VRS adjusts delivery plans as conditions change to meet customer expectations.
- flexis VRS supports the most demanding and specialized customer needs, including customized“white-glove” delivery and installation of kitchens in residential locations.
As supply chains grow more dynamic, transportation fleets will need VRS solutions like flexis to address future uncertainties. flexis’ holistic planning utilizes VRS for more than just automating Vehicle Routing and Scheduling; it’s an integral component of supply chain optimization. flexis VRS also acts as a gateway for optimizing other supply chain functions and strategies beyond transportation, creating a significant competitive advantage.
GET YOUR FULL 2023 GARTNER® MARKET GUIDE FOR VEHICLE ROUTING AND SCHEDULING HERE:
Gartner, Market Guide for Vehicle Routing and Scheduling, Nathan Lease, Carly West, Oscar Sanchez Duran, 25 September 2023. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from flexis AG.
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